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Taken: Oregonians Arrested after Pearl Harbor

Oregon_Nikkei
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How were they selected?

The motivation for action under the Alien Enemies Act of 1798 and Executive Order 9066 starts from the early 1900s with the rise of racial and ethnic anti-Japanese prejudices in the western United States. By the 1930s, the United States was growing increasingly apprehensive about its probable involvement in the ongoing conflicts centered in Europe and Asia. The FBI and DoJ had begun compiling information centering initially on Nazi, communist, and fascist organizations in the United States and the individuals associated with them. The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) was most concerned with the safety of their naval bases on the West Coast and Hawaii and with the presence of Japanese and Japanese Americans living near them. The ONI also began to investigate and compile names of suspect organizations and individuals.

President Roosevelt was also concerned about the Issei and Nisei resident populations. In 1936, he wrote to the Chief of Naval Operations "that every Japanese citizen or non-citizen on the Island of Oahu who meets these Japanese ships [arriving in Hawaii] . . . should be secretly but definitely identified and his or her name be placed on a special list of those who would be the first to be placed in a concentration camp in the event of trouble."

Based on this original

Yahichi Kato at Santa Fe
uploaded by Oregon_Nikkei
Yahichi Kato being inspected at the Santa Fe internment camp, circa 1943. ONLC 1550, gift of Fumiko Haraguchi Kato. More »


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